Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah still won’t tip his hat about his plans for re-election in 2024.
The long-time senator – who has become a consistent critic of former President Donald Trump – has expressed a lot of confidence that he would win re-election if he chose to run again. According to recent polls, too, he’s probably right.
Despite his very public opposition of Trump – and that wing of the Republican Party – Romney enjoys the full support of both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Steve Daines, who serves as the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s chair.
Just last month, McConnell sang Romney’s praises when he said:
“He’s an incredibly effective senator.”
For his part, Trump hasn’t shied away from letting it be known that he’d like to see Romney out of the Senate. He’s even gone as far as trying to encourage other Republicans to enter the race to challenge Romney.
Utah’s GOP primary won’t be held until June of 2024, so there’s still a lot of time for Romney to make his decision – and for potential challengers to make theirs, too.
Back in April, Brad Wilson, who serves as the state House Speaker in Utah, launched a committee to explore the potential of him running for Romney’s Senate seat. However, he has said that he wouldn’t be making a formal announcement about whether he’ll run for the seat until Romney decides what he’s going to do.
It’s very possible that means that Wilson will only pursue the U.S. Senate seat if Romney decides he’s not going to run for re-election. Still, he has secured endorsements from almost 50 legislators in Utah for his potential bid for a Senate seat. He also has polled as the most competitively in a hypothetical contest against Romney, among all those who have thus far considered running for the seat.
Trent Staggs, who is the mayor of Riverton, launched his bid for the Senate seat back in May, and he has the support of Mark Levin, a popular conservative commentator.
Polls currently show that Romney has a huge lead on both Staggs and Wilson in a hypothetical GOP face-off. That being said, polls also show that a majority of voters in Utah are undecided at the moment about how they’d vote.
Others who have been mentioned as possibilities to run for the Senate seat are Sean Reyes, Utah’s attorney general who served as the state’s co-chairman for Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020; as well as former Representative Jason Chaffetz, who formerly served as the House Oversight Committee’s chair.
While he has been tight-lipped about his political future thus far, Romney did say recently that he would probably announce his final decision in the fall.
Utah is a heavily Republican state. So, regardless of whether Romney runs for re-election or not, his seat on the Senate is expected to remain firmly in the GOP grasp.
In fact, no Democrat has said they are interested in running up against Romney at this point.